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D&AD Awards Content Feature

#D&AD21: Tseliso Rangaka, D&AD Radio & Audio jury president

With the D&AD Awards taking place tomorrow and Thursday (26 and 27 May), we connected with local jury president of this year's D&AD Radio & Audio jury Tseliso Rangaka, FCB Joburg's CCO to discuss all things judging, where SA fits in to the global creative scene and some of the ramifications of the pandemic on the industry at large and the radio and audio sector more specifically...
Tseliso Rangaka
Tseliso Rangaka

Congrats on being selected as this year’s D&AD’s Radio & Audio jury president! What does this opportunity mean to you?

Thank you. It’s a real honour to be invited. D&AD sits quite high on any creative person’s list of industry award shows. To lead a jury of extremely accomplished creative leaders is an opportunity to learn from and debate with the very best.

Comment on your past involvement in the D&AD Awards, or other awards programmes and/or judging experiences.

This will be my first time in the jury room for D&AD. I’ve previously had the privilege to judge Cannes Lions, One Show, The Immortal Awards and of course our local African creativity showcase, the Loerie Awards.

What are you most looking forward to re. this year’s D&AD Awards?

Great ideas that draw insight from the times we live in. Not so much the Covid-19 bandwagon work. Although some of it is great.

I’d like to see ideas that acknowledge our current reality but also go a step further to deliver a refreshing point of view.

BizcommunityWhere do you think SA is at creatively speaking in relation to its global counterparts, and specifically with regard to radio and audio?

I think we are well respected as an industry. The proof is in the number of South Africans who participate in international awards shows as well as the many creatives that have been headhunted by international agencies. We’ve typically dominated the traditional radio space but I think it’s time we put more effort into creating campaigns that explore the other aspects of sound and audio.

Comment on the judging process and how the pandemic has affected this.

It’s a mixed bag, some good and some bad. The good is that panels are looking a lot more diverse because travel has been taken out of the equation, so award shows are able to cast the net wider. We also get to be in many places at once as opposed to all being huddled into a dark room somewhere cold. I also think the process itself is a lot more efficient. Everyone gets an equal opportunity to speak. The bad is that we’ve lost the face-to-face aspect and the bond that typically develops with other judges. Oh, and the chance to travel of course.

And how the pandemic has affected the industry and the radio/audio sector more specifically.

The pandemic has been devastating in many ways. We’ve all suffered major losses. In our personal lives and at our agencies. There’s a silver lining, in that we’ve probably never been as connected to the world outside our buildings as we are now. We’ve been forced to come up for air and that’s a good thing in the long run. The role of Radio and Audio has been elevated because the medium is so intimate. Great brands have used radio, during this time, to help us connect better with each other as people.

Did anything stand out to you with regard to this year’s entries?

I’m not going to name any campaigns, but I will say, great ideas that acknowledged our current reality, and also went a step further to deliver refreshing points of view, held the jury’s gaze longer than ideas that didn’t.

What makes winning work in 2021?

The last 12 months have been a lesson in what disconnectedness can do to us as a species.

Work that manages to close the gaps between us, through insight, idea and flawless execution, is what’s winning in our current context.

BizcommunityAny learnings from your D&AD judging experience?

I’ve always wondered why it’s near impossible to win a D&AD pencil. Now I know. The standard is extremely high and the discussions are a masterclass in what it takes to make the very best work. I feel like I should get a certificate just for going through the experience.

About D&AD

D&AD is an education charity that promotes excellence in design and advertising. Each year, the D&AD Awards gather the world's best creative work from across the commercial design, advertising, production and craft disciplines to be judged by more than 400 global creative leaders, practitioners and innovators.

Our categories span the full spectrum of disciplines from graphic design to product design, book design, and magazine and newspaper design; art direction to writing, editing, illustration, photography, typography and animation; creative coding to UX, e-commerce and gaming; PR and media to social good, and much more. We have special categories for rising stars who are making waves in the early days of their career and for side projects that are ready to start up or scale up.

As a not-for-profit, D&AD invests all surpluses from the Awards into education programmes that help new talent prosper and pave the way into the creative industries for more diverse talent. The winning work forms valuable learning resources for students and emerging talent around the world who are looking to make their first steps into a creative career.

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

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